(QHA) -

Situation with the Crimean Tatar media in Crimea is a crude attempt to stifle independent media, gag dissenting voices, and intimidate the Crimean Tatar community, Amnesty international says.

All the independent Crimean Tatar-language media outlets – ATR and Lale channels, Meydan FM station, number of Crimean Tatar newspapers and news agencies, including the Crimean News Agency— will be shut down on 1 April as the midnight deadline expires for re-registration under a Russian law.

Despite submitting applications, Crimean Tatar media outlets that have been arbitrarily refused re-registration or not heard back from the licencing authorities, will be forced to close. Failure to do so will lead to heavy fines and criminal prosecutions.

“At the stroke of midnight, all but one Crimean Tatar language media outlets, which have come under a sustained assault since Crimea joined Russia, will fall silent,” said Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia.

“This blatant attack on freedom of expression, dressed-up as an administrative procedure, is a crude attempt to stifle independent media, gag dissenting voices, and intimidate the Crimean Tatar community.”

QHA